As temperatures remain high across the region, finding different ways to beat the heat this summer is essential. But just as the extreme weather poses a health risk for us, it presents a serious risk to animals, too. If you’re a pet owner, make sure that you take special care of them this season.
According to the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, temperatures in the UAE rose to more than 51 degrees Celsius last month. Similarly, the heat index (i.e. how much “heat” we feel because of humidity) also increased to a soaring 66 degrees.
High Temperatures Pose Serious Risk for Pets
“Unlike us, dogs and cats don’t release heat by sweating,” explained Dr. Lila Miller, Veterinary Advisor at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “[Thus] leaving them particularly susceptible to heatstroke, which can make them seriously ill within minutes.”
“Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburn if overexposed to the heat,” she added. “Heatstroke can be fatal if not treated promptly.”
Likewise, MedVet veterinarian, Emma-Leigh Pearson, DVM, stated that as temperatures rise, dogs (and other pets) still have to adapt to the change in temperature. As a result, there are now more cases of heatstroke among canines, in particular.
“The primary goal in the treatment of heatstroke is to actively facilitate cooling,” Pearson noted. “Methods of cooling in the heatstroke patient focus on evaporative and conductive mechanisms of heat dissipation.”
How to Keep Your Pets Cool in Summer
Aside from air conditioning, which can be pretty expensive, you can use a portable evaporative cooler to keep your pets cool. Moreover, take note of the following tips for the summer:
- Keep your pets indoors when the sun is at its strongest (12 pm to 3 pm).
- Make sure that your pets can access a shaded area at all times.
- Provide plenty of drinking water and replace it regularly.
- Walk your pets early in the morning or after the sun sets.
By heeding the tips mentioned above, you and your pets are all set to conquer today’s rising temperatures. After all, summer is not only about keeping ourselves cool under the sun, but taking special care of our beloved pets as well!